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This was our 22nd cruise with Princess since 2008. We have been loyal to Princess because we like the itineraries, and (in the past) have had great service. We have filled out the post-cruise online survey and would like to include the following comments: Condition of the ship: We enjoy the format of the older ships, primarily the promenade decks. However, because a ship is old does not mean it should be rundown. The Grand Princess was in terrible shape. I have never seen so much rust on a cruise ship as this one. Many scuppers on the promenade deck were plugged causing small local puddles on the deck. I would guess about 10% of the deck caulking was rotted away. Carpeting in many places on the ship (including our stateroom) was coming up in places. There were too many water(?) leaks from the ceilings on almost all decks to count. Crew had to place towels, buckets and yellow caution wet floor signs. As a result of the leaks, the ceilings showed much water damage and warpage. Two nights in a row, the aft elevators that service the Botticelli dining room on deck 6 and the Elite Lounge on deck 15 were not working properly in the late afternoon/early evening. This is the time when those elevators are most needed. We had to mention this to the customer service desk both nights before they were fixed. We very nearly had to cancel our dinner plans because being partially disabled, we couldn't get to deck 6 using the stairs. Wait Staff: With the exception of the excellent service in the Botticelli Dining Room at dinner, and the Club Class Dining Room at Breakfast, the wait service in all other areas was terrible. All the bars were grossly understaffed throughout the day. In one case, in the Elite Lounge (OneFive) I ordered a glass of wine and for 25 minutes, I watched the waitress who took my order stop and chat with customers at three different tables. I finally left without ever having the order filled. There was a noticeable decline in service since even our last voyage. The staff that was there showed an aloof and disinterested attitude towards the customers. We have noticed a decline in bar staff service over the last two to three years, but this cruise was exceptionally bad. I think this is a result of the changes over the years to automatic gratuities. I would rather see an increase in cruise fare in order to better pay the staff and increase the number of staff and go back to the traditional method for gratuities. Twice on this cruise I was tempted to opt-out of the automatic gratuities charged to my account. I didn’t do so because, quite honestly, I believed the word would get out to the staff and, as a result, I would get no service at all. Onboard experience: We have taken this cruise twice in the past and really enjoyed the Ukulele lessons and were looking forward to more of that on this trip. Unfortunately, the “Hawaiian Ambassadors” seemed more interested in selling the goods they brought with them on board (ukuleles &c) than actually teaching the ukulele. Classes were disorganized, materials were not ready at the beginning of class, classes would not start on time because the instructor or the sound equipment was not ready. There was a travel group on board for this trip. I found it really tacky that Princess allowed them to set up their reception tables in the Piazza. Not only on embarkation day, but on many other days throughout the trip. Why not use the Hearts and Minds room for this? It seems as though the onboard activities have been reduced to Trivia, Ballroom Dancing, and Zumba. All other daytime activities are centered around Shopping, Bingo, and Art Auctions. All of which is there to generate revenue for Princess. In conclusion, We have decided we are through with Princess Cruises and most likely, any brand under the Carnival umbrella. We had two cruises planned for 2020 and I have cancelled them both. We will be looking at other cruise lines and, no doubt, it will cost more. But, as always, you get what you pay for.

Done with Princess

Grand Princess Cruise Review by Rhoots

1 person found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: December 2019
  • Destination: Hawaii
  • Cabin Type: Mini-Suite with Balcony
This was our 22nd cruise with Princess since 2008. We have been loyal to Princess because we like the itineraries, and (in the past) have had great service. We have filled out the post-cruise online survey and would like to include the following comments:

Condition of the ship:

We enjoy the format of the older ships, primarily the promenade decks. However, because a ship is old does not mean it should be rundown. The Grand Princess was in terrible shape. I have never seen so much rust on a cruise ship as this one. Many scuppers on the promenade deck were plugged causing small local puddles on the deck. I would guess about 10% of the deck caulking was rotted away.

Carpeting in many places on the ship (including our stateroom) was coming up in places. There were too many water(?) leaks from the ceilings on almost all decks to count. Crew had to place towels, buckets and yellow caution wet floor signs. As a result of the leaks, the ceilings showed much water damage and warpage.

Two nights in a row, the aft elevators that service the Botticelli dining room on deck 6 and the Elite Lounge on deck 15 were not working properly in the late afternoon/early evening. This is the time when those elevators are most needed. We had to mention this to the customer service desk both nights before they were fixed. We very nearly had to cancel our dinner plans because being partially disabled, we couldn't get to deck 6 using the stairs.

Wait Staff:

With the exception of the excellent service in the Botticelli Dining Room at dinner, and the Club Class Dining Room at Breakfast, the wait service in all other areas was terrible. All the bars were grossly understaffed throughout the day. In one case, in the Elite Lounge (OneFive) I ordered a glass of wine and for 25 minutes, I watched the waitress who took my order stop and chat with customers at three different tables. I finally left without ever having the order filled.

There was a noticeable decline in service since even our last voyage. The staff that was there showed an aloof and disinterested attitude towards the customers. We have noticed a decline in bar staff service over the last two to three years, but this cruise was exceptionally bad. I think this is a result of the changes over the years to automatic gratuities. I would rather see an increase in cruise fare in order to better pay the staff and increase the number of staff and go back to the traditional method for gratuities. Twice on this cruise I was tempted to opt-out of the automatic gratuities charged to my account. I didn’t do so because, quite honestly, I believed the word would get out to the staff and, as a result, I would get no service at all.

Onboard experience:

We have taken this cruise twice in the past and really enjoyed the Ukulele lessons and were looking forward to more of that on this trip. Unfortunately, the “Hawaiian Ambassadors” seemed more interested in selling the goods they brought with them on board (ukuleles &c) than actually teaching the ukulele. Classes were disorganized, materials were not ready at the beginning of class, classes would not start on time because the instructor or the sound equipment was not ready.

There was a travel group on board for this trip. I found it really tacky that Princess allowed them to set up their reception tables in the Piazza. Not only on embarkation day, but on many other days throughout the trip. Why not use the Hearts and Minds room for this?

It seems as though the onboard activities have been reduced to Trivia, Ballroom Dancing, and Zumba. All other daytime activities are centered around Shopping, Bingo, and Art Auctions. All of which is there to generate revenue for Princess.

In conclusion, We have decided we are through with Princess Cruises and most likely, any brand under the Carnival umbrella. We had two cruises planned for 2020 and I have cancelled them both. We will be looking at other cruise lines and, no doubt, it will cost more. But, as always, you get what you pay for.
Rhoots’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
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Embarkation
Dining
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Cabin Review

Mini-Suite with Balcony
Cabin MB
Stateroom attendant:
There was a general announcement to all passengers at 1:00 pm on embarkation day that our staterooms were ready. When we entered, the bed was not yet made, Bed linens were piled on the unmade bed. None of the literature normally found on arrival was in the room. We were told later there was a Coast Guard drill that may have slowed down the readying of the rooms, and that is acceptable. But if the rooms are not ready, then don’t make a general announcement that they are ready. That leaves a very bad first impression.
A new set of robes and drinking glasses in the stateroom bar area and bathroom were brought into our cabin the day before we were scheduled to disembark. The clean robes were hung in the back of the closet amongst our clothing. This leaves me to believe a similar practice was done in our stateroom before we boarded. This could be a serious health issue. How could we be sure our glasses were not used by previous guests before we entered the stateroom?
On the outbound portion of the voyage, our stateroom was not cleaned before 1:30 pm. In all fairness, on the return from Hawaii, our stateroom was cleaned before 9:00 am, so we assumed the attendant rotated his schedule to accommodate all passengers under his responsibility. We believe the stateroom attendants have in recent years, been given more staterooms to attend to and there are not enough attendants to get what is needed to be done in a timely manner.
Aside from the two issues mentioned, the attendant did a very good job. He checked if everything was satisfactory whenever we encountered him in the corridor. We just feel he has has been given too much to do in too little time.
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